In the United States today, there are more living military veterans than ever before. According to the latest published census in 2014, 19.6 million out of the total 319.2 million Americans are veterans. These men and women have not only sacrificed a great deal defending our country and the freedoms upon which it was founded, they have also accumulated a great many skills and qualities which make them outstanding options as civilian employees. Yet—while their discipline, leadership abilities, and technical skills are widely lauded—military veterans that have served since 2001 have an unemployment rate higher than the national average, one that soars to a staggering 21.4 percent for those between the ages of 18-24.
This May marks the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship. The world is a very different place than it was 30 years ago. When the Center was established in 1985 with just 35 people from 35 companies connecting to our mission to help companies know more, do more, and achieve more with their environmental, social, and governance investments, debate about the human contributions to climate change had just begun in earnest and institutionalized corporate philanthropy and employee volunteer programs were new practices.
On Tuesday, April 21, the final day of the 2015 International Corporate Citizenship Conference, the learning continued with more breakout sessions throughout the day. Heads filled with new ideas and inspiration from the day before, conference attendees had the chance to attend two additional breakout sessions before heading back to put what they learned into action.
The final day of the 2015 International Corporate Citizenship Conference was rich with inspiration and ideas, as attendees solidified connections, learned from each other and from experts in the field, and were introduced to next year’s Conference sponsor—UPS—during the event’s closing session.
With an agenda packed from dawn to dusk, day two of the 2015 International Corporate Citizenship Conference was full of learning and networking—we even managed to network while getting some exercise! Highlights included an in-depth one-on-one with Dell Chairman and CEO Michael Dell, an on-site volunteer project benefiting Austin middle-schoolers, and more than 15 other sessions tackling subjects ranging from engaging veterans to navigating the reporting landscape.
So many breakouts, which ones to choose?
As with any good conference, the most difficult decision—other than how full to fill your plate at the buffet line—is typically which sessions to attend. With up to seven sessions happening concurrently, it can be a tough choice. Breakout sessions on Monday at the 2015 International Corporate Citizenship Conference covered such topics as engaging veterans, transparency and governance, and engaging today's multi-generational workforce.
The first day of the 2015 International Corporate Citizenship Conference was packed with insights, discussion, and collaboration, as CSR professionals from around the world came together to network, share stories, and learn from each other—and from experts in the field. While it was a day of growth and exploration, it was also a day of celebration, as UPS and Mary Kay were both awarded the top prize for the 2015 International Corporate Citizenship Film Festival.
Every year, the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship gathers CSR leaders from around the globe for our International Corporate Citizenship Conference. Drawing experts from our more than 400 Member companies, leading corporate citizenship and management thinkers, and organizations such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and CDP, we create unique space—one that admits corporate citizenship practitioners only—for the free exchange of ideas.
Here at the Center, we spend a lot of time thinking about how our members can make the good work they do in CSR go even further. We scan research publications in the management and social sciences disciplines related to corporate citizenship, work with some of the top thinkers in the field, and conduct our own research to provide our more than 400 members with the insights that help drive business and social value.
Let's be honest—every day we wake up with a different level of energy and patience to think big and manage our corporate citizenship efforts. We each juggle the need to be strategists, issue area experts, catalysts for internal and external action, and practical leaders about what we can accomplish. This process is not easy and requires a lot more than caffeine.